We tend to associate blisters with negative experiences, such as completing a charity walkathon in sandals instead of sneakers or roller skating at summer camp without socks (Anyone? Just me? Okay.), but blisters are actually a sign of healing when they follow laser tattoo removal treatment. 

A blister is a fluid-filled sac that forms under the epidermis, your outer layer of skin. Although not everyone develops blisters after laser treatment, many people do, so don’t worry if you notice what may look like tiny bubbles on your skin. The blisters are your body’s reaction to what happened during your treatment: the PicoWay or Quanta EVO lasers use light pulses to target tattoo ink particles, and this heats up your skin. Blisters are your body’s way of forming a protective layer while everything heals. 

You may or may not be able to prevent blisters from forming, but you can certainly lessen their impact and help them heal. 

Here are 5 remedies for blistering after laser tattoo removal:

  1. Apply cold compresses or ice packs to the area directly after your tattoo removal session both to relieve discomfort and to prevent blisters from forming. Do this on and off for the first day.  Also avoid any creams, ointments, or bandages in order to allow the skin to breathe.  Otherwise, the heat cannot escape, and this will surely result in a heat blister.  Many other tattoo removal places wrap the treated area directly after a treatment, but you can be assured a blister will develop if you do this.  After 18 years of experience, our protocol calls for air and ice for the first 24 hours. (It’s also important to avoid excessive heat exposure). If you still feel discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
  2. If you do develop blisters, do not pop or scratch them.
  3. Avoid hot tubs and swimming pools for a few days. Avoid high-pressure shower sprays, although you can certainly take a shower. Don’t soak in baths for a long time. 
  4. Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. If you have to be outside, use sunscreen of at least SPF 50 or cover up.
  5. Foster a healthy immune system. There are several ways to do this:
  • Don’t smoke: aside from all of the carcinogens in tobacco smoke that you already know about, tobacco smoke affects the immune system by making you more susceptible to infections. It also lowers the amount of protective antioxidants in your blood.
  • Stay hydrated: Water helps carry oxygen to the cells of your body. It also helps remove waste and toxins from your body. 
  • Try to avoid stress: This is easier said than done (unless you are marooned on a desert island with no internet), but it is important. Stress reduces the number of lymphocytes in your system. This is not good; lymphocytes are immune cells that help the body fight viruses and infections. 
  • Get plenty of sleep: According to the CDC, sleep plays a large role in the immune system. Recent research has found that having enough sleep can help your immune system fight off infection by producing T cells and cytokines. Try to get 7 hours of good quality sleep by sticking to a regular bedtime and avoiding screen time just before bed. You may need to bribe the kids and the pets as well…
  • Eat nutritious foods: This may not be the time to sample all of the snack offerings at your local fair. The immune system isn’t fond of fried foods, fatty foods, or excess sugar or salt, so avoid that deep-fried battered Snickers bar! Some foods that do boost the immune system are blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, almonds, red peppers, and oily fish (like salmon or tuna).

You may find our article What Does the Laser Tattoo Removal Healing Process Look Like? interesting. However, if you have any questions at all about your blisters or your healing process, please ask us

Every person and every tattoo is different, so ask our experts!

When you’re ready to look into laser tattoo removal, it’s important to find a professional and expert technician you trust. Before you commit to anything, you can come in for a free consultation here at Ink-B-Gone, the leading laser tattoo removers in Colorado. We are conveniently located in Denver, but many of our clients visit us from out of state.

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